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How to stop negative thinking

Our hypnotherapy sessions always start with the question, “What’s been good about your week?”

Why? Well, by doing this we start to realise that maybe our week was ok after all. Maybe one thing we hadn’t noticed before was actually good. In neuroscience terms, we get ourselves back in our positive brain (our left prefrontal cortex) where we are more rational and solution focused.

But why is it so difficult to think positively?

Our view of the world has a dependency to tilt to the negative. Our brain is quite simply designed to measure things by what might go wrong rather than what might go right. This dependency means that it’s easy for us to get stuck in negative thought patterns, which have been created or developed from past negative experiences.

So, we literally have to work harder to see the upside of things.

One bad comment or negative thought can stick with us all week, but the truth is we can help ourselves and move on quicker by training our brain to think positively. You can be the person with the glass half full, not half empty.

To train our brain to think more positively, you have to be conscious of the process and rehearse and practice it. Therapy gives you the time and space to become conscious of negative thinking patterns and to start channeling your focus on how to think more positively.

How long does this take? According to a 2021 study, it takes typically 2 months to create positive or negative habits.

How to think positively

We start in our sessions with the question “What was good about your week?” and then we use techniques to change our thinking.

These include:

  • The negative thought switch exercise - writing down the negative thought on one side of a page, and then writing the opposite thought on the other side. We then explore how likely the opposite thought could be to challenge our pre-existing perceptions.

  • Rehearsing good news and sharing it with others. Our primitive mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination so by rehearsing how we want things to go right, we can make this happen. By sharing it, we are convincing our brain even further that we can do this. We call this ‘Reframing’.

  • Exploring what could go right with a preferred future, and how we might do this. We call this ‘Setting Goals'.

  • Exploring who the people and activities in our lives are that make us feel more positive and how we may respond to people and activities to allow us to get less stuck in negative thoughts.

  • Writing down gratitude thoughts for a few minutes each day, or before sleep. Lots of research shows this can dramatically improve our happiness.

  • We close the session with hypnosis, which reinforces the benefits of positive thinking. This is what you walk away with as you leave the session - “I can do this, I will”.

If you’d like support with how to stop negative thinking, please contact me for a chat.

Tamsin Denbigh runs a Wedmore clinic on Fridays and is online via Zoom on weekday evenings.

To book a session or a free discovery call, please text Tamsin on 07917 786251, visit or email

Alternatively find Tamsin Denbigh Hypnotherapy on Facebook and Instagram.

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